Faust | F.W. Murnau | Germany, 1926
Mobilizing the full resources of the UFA Studios, F.W. Murnau (Nosferatu, Sunrise) orchestrated a colossal adaptation of Goethe's Faust that ranks alongside Fritz Lang's Metropolis as the greatest achievement of the German silent cinema. Gösta Ekman stars as the titular alchemist who, struggling with his faith amidst a devastating plague, is offered the power to cure and the gift of youth - in exchange for his soul. As the diabolical Mephisto, Emil Jannings (The Last Laugh) delivers a performance of operatic scale and intensity, by turns charming, comical, and horrific.
Music: Ensemble Klang
Ensemble Klang bring back to life a work by one of the most important, wide-ranging and mischievous Dutch musicians of the last century, Willem Breuker. Commissioned by the Cité de la Musique, Paris, in 2003, Breuker’s score for Murnau’s film is scored for his own big band. With elements of klezmer, jazz, rock, latin, brass band and big band the irreverent score acts as an at times hilarious, at times deeply moving, counterpoint to the expressionist mastery of Faust.
The Willem Breuker Kollektief toured the work all around the world, but since Breuker passed away it has lain unperformed. In this special outing, Ensemble Klang, in an extended line-up, reunite Breuker’s sonic impishness with Murnau’s sublime cinematic artistry. Formed in The Hague in 2003, Ensemble Klang's innovative programs, their commissioning of work from some of the most exciting composers working today, and the inception of their own record label, has seen them quickly rise to become "one of the top ensembles" (NRC Handelsblad) in the Netherlands’ rich contemporary music scene. Ensemble Klang’s dynamic approach to contemporary music and “sonic adventure” has attracted not only a loyal public following but also the active participation of some of today’s leading composers. Projects have been staged with Heiner Goebbels, David Lang, Tom Johnson, Julia Wolfe, Michael Hersch and Peter Adriaansz. Its unique yet versatile instrumentation – saxophones, trombone, keyboards, percussion, guitar, electronics – generates the energetic drive and passion of a band. Performing without a conductor, a typical Ensemble Klang programme combines complex music requiring virtuosic accuracy and breathtaking musical risk. They are born collaborators, and participate in music theatre, site-specific and dance projects almost every season. Klang members feel equally at home in the concert hall, open air at festival or pop venue. Ensemble Klang XL:
Erik-Jan de With, saxes
Michiel van Dijk, saxes
Daan van Koppen, saxes
Carlos Cunha, trumpet
Bianca Egberts, trumpet
Anton van Houten, trombone
Brandt Attema, trombone & tuba
Joey Marijs, drum kit
Saskia Lankhoorn, piano & keys
Pete Harden, bass The group’s international profile is growing. Performances across Europe and the United States have helped place Klang at the forefront of 21st century concert music. Both live performances and recordings have received critical acclaim: ‘Scintillating’ Het Parool; ‘wonderful textures: an ever-changing mix of the notated and the improvised [with] exotic and newly designed instruments’ The Guardian; ‘Pure, uncompromising and relentless... Ensemble Klang play everything with an equal amount of precision as intensity and honesty’ 5-star review, NRC Handelsblad.